We always loved going to Aunt Carole’s house. She had the most beautiful home full of eclectic pieces from all over the world. But then you stepped outside to a garden oasis that was filled with all of our favorite fruits, like bright red strawberries. When we’d visit, she’d pick a pale full of them and whip up what she called Aunt Carole’s Strawberry Pretzel Surprise. It was the best treat! The crust was salty, crunchy, and filled with pretzel crumbs. The filling was creamy and oh, so sweet. And the topping!! Oh, the topping was the best part. The creamy, bouncy goodness is where her juicy, sweet strawberries shined. We’ve loved Aunt Carole’s Strawberry Pretzel Surprise so much that we knew we had to share it. We hope you love it as much as we do!

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For the crust:

  • 2 cups pretzels, crushed
  • 3/4 cup butter, melted
  • 3 tablespoons sugar

For the filling:

  • 2 cups whipped topping
  • 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup sugar

For the strawberry topping:

  • 2 (3-ounce) packages strawberry gelatin
  • 2 cups boiling water
  • 2 (16-ounce) packages frozen sweetened sliced strawberries, thawed
  • whipped topping, to taste, for serving
  • pretzels, to taste, for serving


Step 1 –Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Step 2 –In a bowl, combine 2 cups of the crushed pretzels, the butter, and 3 tablespoons of the sugar.

Step 3 –Press the pretzel mixture into an ungreased 13×9-inch baking dish.

Step 4 –Bake the crust for 10 minutes.

Step 5 –Let the crust cool on a wire rack.

Step 6 –In a small bowl, beat 2 cups of the whipped topping, the cream cheese, and the remaining sugar until the mixture is smooth.

Also Read:  Off-Broadway Pudding

Step 7 –Spread the filling over the pretzel crust and then refrigerate until it is chilled, about 1 hour.

Step 8 –In a large bowl, dissolve the gelatin in the boiling water.

Step 9 –Stir the strawberries into the gelatin mixture and chill until it has partially set, about 30 minutes.

Step 10 –Carefully spoon the strawberry topping over the filling.

Step 11 –Chill the strawberry mixture until it is firm, about 4-6 hours.

Step 12 –Cut the strawberry mixture into bars.

Step 13 –Serve the bars with the extra whipped topping and the extra pretzels.